Consumer Network
Consumer & communication strategies

What do consumers want from lay summaries of research articles?

Skills: Consumer Input
This study aims to find out what people with health conditions think is important in a lay summary; what would be an ideal lay summary (content, structure, etc) from a consumer perspective? Researchers at The Sydney Health Literacy Lab, University of Sydney, Australia are looking for people who have read lay summaries of research articles to help them with a research project. The project aims to find out what people with health conditions think is important in a research summary. In case you’re not familiar with them, research summaries are brief summaries of research papers written in plain, everyday language and may also be called plain-language summaries, highlights or key points. Researchers use these summaries to communicate their study findings. Your views and insights will help assist us to determine the most important aspects of lay summaries from the perspective of consumers. We will acknowledge Cochrane and TaskExchange for their support with this project in the published manuscript. Please note: this study is NOT part of Cochrane's review of their Plain Language Summary guidelines.

Ideal Applicant

We are looking for participants who have a chronic health condition, that being a health condition that has lasted over three months. We are primarily interested in people familiar with lay summaries, however those who have not read a lay summary but are interested in seeking information about their health condition are welcome to join the study. Participants must also be adults i.e. aged 18 years and over. The project will involve being part of a discussion with 2-4 other people that goes for approximately 2 hours duration, held via ZOOM. We accommodate international participants (those outside Australia) when scheduling focus groups session over ZOOM. The focus group is the only commitment we request for the study.


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Questions & comments


Im new to cochrane task exchange.

I would like to participate, I dont have a chronic condition, but I have some people in my family with those.

I also would like to have an example of what a lay summary is and more instructions about what I would do if I join in order to help you out.

Have a nice day.

Cewwwj5rgdqqywicodkk Rafael Guízar - 3 months ago

Hi Rafael,
Thank you for your reply. I apologise for my delayed response.
Unfortunately, our study is restricted to people with chronic health conditions themselves.
Thank you for your interest and if you know of anyone would might be interested, please let me know.
Best wishes,

Un8cftfbowik7tnqhfee Karen Gainey (Task Poster) - 3 months ago